If you had a friend who only called or dropped by when he or she wanted something, or who never reached out to show concern or to see if you needed help, it’s likely that the friendship wouldn’t last long. Why? Because there is no intimacy there-no true relationship. We might be tempted to shake our heads at such selfishness, but it’s far too easy to treat God the same way. Sadly, many Christians reach out to Him in prayer only when they lack something or when things are a mess. Life in Christ, however, isn’t just about getting our needs met. It’s about experiencing a personal relationship with the Lord. Jesus told His disciples they were no longer slaves but friends (John 15:14-16), and that same promise is true for us today. We can speak to our closest companion-God Himself-at any time and for any reason. He longs to hear from us, to be approached as the loving Father He is. Take time this week to begin speaking with the Lord in a more personal way to build or strengthen that bond.
Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, May 1, 2022.
Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote, “A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor.” It’s a simple but wise saying that reminds us about the importance of hardships in our life. Without challenges, we never learn new skills or gain the spiritual strength needed in order to endure. This is why the apostle Paul teaches us to “celebrate in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope” (Romans 5:3-4). Everyone faces difficulties. For some, it might involve financial challenges or the loss of good health. Others might know the pain that comes with the breakup of a family or the death of a long-held dream. The question is not if one of these things will happen to us but when. Rather than spend time worrying, we put our faith in God.
Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, July 10, 2022.
In Ecclesiastes chapter 1, we read about a disheartened Solomon bemoaning how meaningless his existence had become. What Solomon didn’t realize is that our focus determines our level of satisfaction. Those who stay young in spirit continually look for evidence of the Almighty – ways that He’s working, providing, loving, and guiding. Without this perspective, the pain and problems of life take center stage, which can then lead to discouragement and grumbling. These are burdens that believers are not meant to bear.
Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, April 7, 2022.
What if you saw that an accident was about to happen that would involve you and the one person you care most about in this world and that it would result in the loss of life, but you see a way that you could save your loved one, however, it would mean the loss of your life. An act of sacrifice would mean that your loved one could go on living. That is what Jesus was thinking about when He went to the cross to give up His life (Luke 23:26-49). His sacrificial act was carried out on your behalf.
We are all on death row, and there is only one way out. Jesus.
One of the purposes of prayer is to make us aware of our own dependence upon the Lord. No concern is too small to bring to Him, and nothing is too big for Him to handle. In fact, we are told to worry about nothing and to pray about everything.
Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, September 2021.
What does the cross mean to you? Many people in the world today view it as a symbol of Christianity, but think about what it represented in Christ’s day. Nobody wore a miniature cross around the neck or displayed one in a place of worship. The cross was a tortuous means of execution, and the mere thought of it was repulsive.
Yet believers throughout the ages have chosen this as the sign of their faith. In fact, to remove the cross from our teaching and theology would leave nothing but an empty, powerless religion. How could anyone be saved if Christ had not been crucified and resurrected? According to Scripture, there can be no forgiveness without the shedding of blood (Hebrews 9:22). Christ had to bear the punishment for our sin in order for God to grant us forgiveness.
Every time you see a cross, remember what it really was – an instrument of execution. Then thank Jesus that He was willing to be crucified so the Father could forgive you of sin. Though the scene of your redemption was horrendous, Christ turned the cross into a place of great triumph. For more about Jesus and His gift of salvation: https://wordpicturesbydlink.wordpress.com/jesus/
Commentary by Charles Stanley, from the In Touch devotional, April 3, 2021. https://www.intouch.org/read/magazine/daily-devotions
God doesn’t want us to retreat from the world and focus on ourselves in times of crisis or instability. This is our opportunity to give hope to others through the message of salvation in Jesus Christ.
Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, February 10, 2021.